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Kuban Cossack Choir #284073 03/25/08 05:26 PM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 262
Halia12 Offline OP
OP Offline
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 262
I believe some on this forum are interested in the Kozak tradition. You will have to go to the web site to see the pictures:

Family members coming for a visit!

Photos by Mykola LAZARENKO



March 22 marked the 70th anniversary of the birth of Viktor Zakharchenko, the artistic director of the Kuban State Academic Cossack Choir that will be touring Ukraine in April.

Zakharchenko is a scholar, folklorist, academician, author of numerous monographs and scholarly works, a folk song specialist, as well as a composer and talented arranger, who has written more than 200 compositions and arranged over a thousand folk songs. He is also a noted public figure and chairman of the board of the Association of State Choirs and Ensembles of Russia.

“I am a Cossack by birth and upbringing,” Zakharchenko told this reporter. “I have listened to folk and religious songs since my childhood and I have adopted Cossack traditions. I am Ukrainian and my family comes from the Poltava and Chernihiv oblasts. My ancestors moved to the Kuban region in search of a happier life, but my parents were orphaned at an early age and had to start earning a living when they were children. We always spoke Ukrainian at home. We lived in the Cossack village of Diatkivska, where I heard many beautiful folk songs for the first time.

“I inherited my mother’s strong character and it has always helped me overcome hardships. We received the official notice that my father was killed in action in the first months of the Second World War, and our mother had to raise four children by herself. In 1996 our Lord gave me a hard trial to endure. I was run over by a car and fractured my hip. I spent seven months in hospital and was operated on six times. I had to walk on crutches for two and a half years. After I began recovering but was still having difficulties walking unassisted, I went on a concert tour of Kyiv. My colleagues helped me walk out on the stage, and everyone in the hall stood up to greet me. How can you forget such things? During my long convalescence in bed I wrote some 300 arrangements of folk songs and music set to the poetry of Lermontov, Yesenin, Pushkin, and Rubtsov. I was so eager to create music. After the accident I released 10 CDs. We are mortals, but music and songs will live after we are gone.

“Every year I go on a trip to the Kuban to record the songs that elderly villagers, the descendants of the Black Sea (Ukrainian) Cossacks who came from the Zaporozhian Sich still remember. I have recorded several thousand of their songs. I arrange them myself, trying to preserve each folk song’s original flavor. Otherwise, if you succumb to your creative imagination, no one will recognize the original piece. I am all for carefully preserving the original source. One of the choir’s recent discoveries is the song “Kuban is a small river,” which is based on a poem by Oleksandr Piven, a Ukrainian Kuban poet who lived before the revolution. I have prepared a CD of Ukrainian songs. When I write music, I keep in mind the vocal capacity of every member of the choir. I know who will have the solo and who the duet parts.”

Zakharchenko has been the Kuban Choir’s artistic director for more than three decades. The choir has a remarkably eventful history, and its director deserves a lot of credit for promoting it in many countries.

“The Kuban Choir dates back to 1811. Its first concert took place on Oct. 14, the Feast of St. Mary the Protectress. At first it was just a choir that gave secular concerts,” Zakharchenko told The Day. “Even then the folk songs that were sung by Cossacks in their villages since time immemorial were the gems of its repertoire. Before the October Revolution the choir performed a lot of religious and classical music. The 1920s marked a dark period in its history because the Cossacks were subjected to repressions on Sverdlov and Trotsky’s orders. During the first years of Soviet rule well-to-do residents of Cossack villages were literally destroyed or deported to Siberia. Human life had no value and no one was in the mood for singing or dancing. The choir was disbanded.

“In 1936 the government reversed its attitude. Stalin even started paying attention to the Church and allowed the opening of several Orthodox churches, and made some concessions for the faithful. That was when two professional performing groups were organized in Krasnodar and Rostov: the State Kuban Cossack Choir and the Don Cossack Song and Dance Ensemble. We are the legal successors of the Kuban Cossack Choir. There is also a spiritual aspect: in 1995 Patriarch Aleksii II of Moscow visited Krasnodar, where he met with the Cossacks and after listening to our religious songs, he asked us why we were not singing in churches the way our ancestors did. He gave us his blessing, and since then we have taken part in divine services. We sing in cathedrals on all festive Orthodox occasions.”

This year’s tour of Ukraine will commemorate the maestro’s anniversary. The choir will perform three concerts at the Ukraine Palace in Kyiv (April 5-6), and will then tour Lviv, Kharkiv, Mykolaiv, and Odesa. It will be the first tour of this scope and will feature 250 performers. In addition to singers, musicians, and dancers, audiences will see performances by 65 students from the Kuban Choir School. The program will consist of the best songs and dances created during various historical periods. For example, the vocal-choreographic composition “Meeting” is a stylized portrayal of the return of a Cossack unit to a village after a military campaign. The cheerful marching rhythm, colorful historical costumes, well- rehearsed steps, and the cast’s remarkable professionalism lend this composition a touch of historical verisimilitude. A song called “Verbokhliost” recreates the intoxicating atmosphere of the Easter season. The folk traditions of the Kuban Cossacks come alive in “Podushechka” with its smooth steps and soft lyrical music, which create a heady romantic atmosphere. A large number of folk songs and modern compositions will be performed, ranging from ancient times to the present day, including “Bread comes first” written by Zakharchenko.

The renowned maestro selects the repertoire meticulously, and this repertoire is immense. He not only collects folk relics, but has also written a beautiful vocal symphony based on lyrics by such classics as Blok, Tiutchev, Pushkin, Yesenin, Tsvetaieva, Lermontov, Delvig, Nekrasov, Rubtsov, Severianin, Shevchenko, and Lesia Ukrainka. His choir performs on different continents, and the repertoire always includes a surprise number in the host country’s language. Ukrainian songs are a special part of the choir’s creative legacy, including such classics as “Reve ta stohne, Dnipr shyrokyi,” “Rozpriahaite khloptsi konei,” “Yikhaly kozaky iz Donu dodomu,” and “Iak dytynoiu buvalo.” A number of music critics have tried to penetrate the secret of the Kuban Choir phenomenon and its director Viktor Zakharchenko. Perhaps the main thing to understand is that this group always puts its heart into every performance, and its mastery has earned the choir millions of fans throughout the world.

№11, вівторок, 25 березня 2008

Re: Kuban Cossack Choir [Re: Halia12] #284102 03/26/08 12:24 AM
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 158
Roman Offline
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 158
I'd very much like to hear their "Reve ta stohne, Dnipr shyrokyi”. Wasn't that impressed by the Detroit-based Banduryst kapelli's rendition when I saw them last fall.

Anyone have any good all-male recordings of this song to rcommend?

PS: it just occured to me that my post is somewhat ironic given that my dad's masters thesis was on "Tykhyj Don".

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